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The Twins’ potential playoff roster

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Whilst perusing FanGraphs earlier this past week, an article caught my eye: AL postseason roster decisions. The Twins weren’t featured as they aren’t a lock for the playoffs just yet, but what if they were? Some players that remained on the roster for most of the season might not make the cut, while others that barely sniffed any action could be an important figure in a playoff game. The following is my attempt to identify who could see the postseason as a Twin, assuming they not only make it to the Wild Card game but also advance to the Divisional Series.

Pitchers

Locks
  1. SP - Ervin Santana
  2. SP - Jose Berrios
  3. SP - Kyle Gibson

  1. CL - Matt Belisle
  2. RP - Trevor Hildenberger
  3. RP - Taylor Rogers
  4. RP - Ryan Pressly
  5. RP - Tyler Duffey
  6. RP - Buddy Boshers
  7. RP - Dillon Gee
On the Bubble
  1. SP - Adalberto Mejia
  2. SP - Bartolo Colon
  3. RP - Alan Busenitz

Mejia and Colon would clearly battle each other for the 4th starter role, though teams usually only need one or two games from that #4 pitcher. However, the loser of that battle might not even make it to the bullpen due to the presence of Busenitz, a guy that has received higher leverage spots from Paul Molitor in spite of his inability to strike out hitters. Nevertheless, Busenitz has not allowed many baserunners and would likely be more valuable than Mejia or Colon out of the ‘pen.

Position Players

Locks
  1. C - Jason Castro
  2. 1B - Joe Mauer
  3. 2B - Brian Dozier
  4. SS - Jorge Polanco
  5. 3B - Eduardo Escobar
  6. LF - Eddie Rosario
  7. CF - Byron Buxton
  8. RF - Max Kepler
  9. DH - Miguel Sano (if healthy)

  1. C - Chris Gimenez
  2. SS - Ehire Adrianza
  3. OF - Robbie Grossman
On the Bubble
  1. 1B/DH - Kennys Vargas
  2. CF - Zack Granite

This one boils down to how you want to approach your bench. If you want the power threat that can change the game with one swing, you want Vargas. However, if your approach is to wreak havoc on the bases, it’s Granite. He wouldn’t necessarily be a defensive replacement though, as if Grossman’s in the field, it’s because Kepler is on the bench against a lefthanded pitcher and thus Kepler is your #1 outfield replacement. A notable omission is Mitch Garver, but Molitor has shown an unwillingness to give him regular at-bats against lefties late in the season.

What do you think? Are there any players that you feel would have a legitimate chance of making the playoff roster instead?